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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! Part 2

Should auld aquaintances be forgot? I think not! I leave my Christmas decorations up until after January 6th. It likes to mingle with my New Year's Eve decor.

January 6th marks the Epiphany~when the Magi arrived at the stable. (It is also the 12th day of Christmas~12 Drummers Drumming...). Leaving up our Christmas decor is a very European way to celebrate, it also makes my German Lutheran Grandmother happy and helps to keep the January blahs at bay.

We created our party hats from the colored comics this year. But I also found some darling chapeau's on Etsy. This pink confection by Moth to a Flame Studio is dazzling.
Pure harlequin happiness by 30 one.

Don't forget the noisemakers! I picked up some Christmas crackers on clearance at Marshall's (They are shown in the post below; a $1.50~score!) but I also love these vintage specimens from The Buttercup.
I like to set up a buffet of food that includes what my grandfather liked to call "lil nibblers".

There are assorted cheeses and olives for sweet boy, salami for Mr. Decor and shrimp cocktail for the fashionista and myself.

Nice little crudites are accompanied by the easiest dip I know: sprinkling in a packet of dry salad dressing to a pint of sour cream~yum!

Here's to the bright New Year,
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here's to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.
~Author unknown

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Decorating with Children

It can be done, I promise! For our New Year's Eve table I enlisted Sweet Boy's help. He's seven and all boy, but oddly enough likes to help decorate. Trying to not include him could be disastrous on many levels. For the table I channeled my inner Frosty.

We began by creating a table runner made out of various doilies that I had on hand. They reminded me of snowflakes.

I then added some tarnished sparkle in the form of unpolished silver (the best kind) and some crystal candlesticks. Sweet boy's job was to select scrabble tiles and create words for the trays. I then upped the concentration factor and asked if he could think up words representing cold and ice that began with the letter of each person's name and create place cards. He became Igloo. Mr. Decor is Eskimo.

I liked how the table worked so well with my Snow Village that is shown in the background on the sideboard.

This Christmas we added another piece to the collection. It is a lodge that we found on Ebay.

Which aptly enough turned out to be my place card name. Laura = Lodge. :)

We're now off to construct our party hats!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Sing with me now..."May be beauuuuutifullllll and yet..."

One of the things on my "Christmas break/ fun things to do" list has been visiting a few of my favorite blogs and going waaaayyyy back to their humble beginnings and reading all of the past posts that I missed. (Yes, I do have a bit of time on my hands.)
When I saw that Cindy from
My Romantic Homes was hosting "A Year in Review ~2008" I thought it might be fun to give you a glimpse of what went on in my blog over the course of the past 7 months.
You will learn:
I like to dress up. Carrie Bradshaw Gets a New Apartment and Laura attends a premiere.

Mamma Mia the Decor family lived in Greece!

I LOVE throwing parties and always issue an invitation.
Turning 40 and losing my head in a Marie Antoinette extravaganza. (A link can be found on the right side of my blog under "Greatest Hits" .)

Argh Matey! Read about the cake disaster.
You'll learn that I like pretty things...

Love my family and I am very patriotic....
...and love a good cause. This was my booth at Blissfest for Nie Nie.
I like to craft. Sometimes it's jewelry making or textiles...
...other times it is with paper.

I sometimes show interior design projects that I have completed. But not to often.


This is because if you want to see my work, you can just travel to the left side of my blog and under "Kindred Spirits" click on my company website Arranging Elegance.


More often I will show projects that you can do yourself.

I like to travel and often share what I see here on the ole blog like this lovely blue ceiling found in Key West.

Often when I am visiting an architectural marvel I ham it up. No! That is not what I wanted to say! (My cousin and I at Talisen West.)

I meant to say that I also do quite a bit of research (Days! Weeks!) and provide historical posts on different styles of architecture. This was a piece on the Arts and Crafts movement.

It is always a 2 day feature as I also cover the interiors. The regular readers seem to like these posts, so I will continue researching and bring you more of what you love in 2009. Isn't Spanish Colonial so warm and cozy?

Did I entice you? Is your finger itching to hit the "Follow" button?
(By the way does anyone else think of Jim Jones when they click on a follow button? I think I might switch my term to "Adorable People".)
Lastly, I love to host giveaways. There will be another one this Friday.
So come on along, (we'll be singing a song...) 2009 will be mighty fine!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Free gift tags!

Now that I have your attention, I'd like to say that I have not purchased gift tags in many years. I create tags from the stack of Christmas cards we receive in the mail. You don't have to be green with envy. I'll show you how to make your own.

First I slip on my elf shoes. I love these shoes and its the only time of year I can wear them without attracting strange looks. But, you can skip this step.

Next, sift through your pile of cards. Sadly, a few will not make the cut and will go into the circular file. A few examples are shown below.

Grab a puncher and go to town. Does anyone else place their puncher up side down so that they can see what they are punching out?

Even the cards that have writing on their interiors get punched. Later on they will be made into really cute tags.

Ever send out photo's? You can even cut off the photo card holders and reuse (reduce, recycle :) .

So there you have it, free gift tags!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All is calm, all is bright...

This is the Mission San Xavier del Bac (White Dove of the Desert) just outside of Tucson.

The first foundations of the church were laid in 1700. The present church was built between 1783 - 1797 by the Franciscan Fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz.

Upon entering the nave you find white washed walls enhanced with beautiful paintings and designs.

The domes and arches near the main altar are breathtakingly beautiful. The photos come no where near capturing its beauty.

The main altar features a triple apse.

The transept area also features lovely paintings, saints, wood work and plaster work.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." ~Isaiah 9:6
"Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "
~Joseph Mohr